BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Coal production in Montana over the first half of 2018 was up 20 percent compared to two years ago.

The Billings Gazette reports coal production from January through June was 17.9 million tons.

But a temporary partial shutdown of the coal-fired Colstrip power plant may affect production numbers for the rest of the year.

Montana Coal Council executive director Bud Clinch says that boost was led by Cloud Peak's Spring Creek Mine and Lighthouse Resources' Decker Mine. Both mines export coal through British Columbia, Canada.

Colstrip, which gets its fuel from the adjacent Rosebud coal mine, shut down two of its four units in June after they failed to comply with federal pollution standards.

It's not clear when the units, which produce 70 percent of the plant's power, will be back online.


Information from: The Billings Gazette,